Where Mexican comfort food is personified and diets are prohibited
Hidden in plain sight in a Texas City strip mall, Taqueria El Jaliciense has become a local and beloved staple along Palmer Highway.
While the casual décor may be limited, friendly and attentive servers are not. Neither are loyal patrons. It’s easy to spot students from the nearby high school sporting team uniforms, workers from area refineries and families laughing and enjoying their meals. Live musicians stroll between tables singing familiar melodies.
Family-size portions make sharing your entree among your table of hungry friends not only a generous gesture, but almost a requirement if you’d rather skip carting leftovers home.
The thin cut sirloin steak arrives at the table branding-iron hot, spitting juices from the sizzling plate. Grilled onions and peppers, as well as warm corn tortillas, accompany the oversized platter of beef. Other classics, such as flavorful barbacoa and menudo, are served daily and easy to wash down with a drink from the bar or favorite cerveza.
The taqueria’s chili rellenos is Mexican comfort food personified. The roasted poblano chile, stuffed with ground beef, is batter-coated and fried until crispy before it’s smothered in melted cheese and showered with tomatoes. The plate, as well as many other menu items, arrives with the inevitable side of rice and choice of beans.
Feeling adventurous? Order the sautéed cactus salad, which is pleasantly unique. It’s served over a bed of fresh lettuce and topped with creamy slices of avocado. Plan to split the order with your dining companion or risk pushing the plate away in defeat.
With reasonable prices, a lengthy menu that includes breakfast burritos and traditional plated dishes such as migas, this no-frills restaurant’s food has cultivated a faithful following. With so many appetizing dishes available, perhaps an addition to the taqueria’s décor is in order. A sign stating, “Aqui se prohibe la dieta,” which means “Diets are prohibited here,” is part warning, part agreement and a policy by which customers easily comply.
Taqueria El Jaliciense
2013 10th Ave. N., Texas City